GOD IS AT ONCE infinitely remote from us and perfectly familiar to us. He is remote by what he is, he is familiar in what he does, for he identifies his thought with the thing he makes and moulds his care for it on its existence. So the mind of God becomes all things and is directly presented by what anything truly is. “He is not far from any one of us, for by him we live and move and have our being” not only as souls or persons, but as animals and even as parcels of physical stuff. His will is in the drawing of our breath and in the pulses of our heart; how much more in the movement of our affection or the aspiration of our hope! To realise a union with our Creator we need not scale heaven or strip the veil from ultimate mystery; for God descends into his creature and acts humanly in mankind. He has made it our calling that we should have fellowship with himself; and so now by faith, but in heaven by sight, we are to look into the countenance divinely human and humanly divine of Christ the Lord.
Austin Farrer – The Oneness of Religion
A Science of God, SPCK, 2009 edition, page 127
MY ELDER DAUGHTER RACHEL graduated from Glasgow Caledonian today: BSc in Occupational Therapy with First Class Honours. Her parents, siblings, family and friends are pleased as punch, and my ever optimistic hope for the future of humankind is enhanced immeasurably as I scan the list of names and accomplishments in the order for the day.
“You will do greater works than these” said Jesus (John 14.12) to companions who were growing in ever broadening faith and understanding, to members of the human race who were and are caught up in having their minds opened. “Greater works than these …” And generations later it is so. Rachel joyfully embarks upon a ministry with and for others (though she probably wouldn’t call it that). One of her fellow students received an award for “a thesis entitled Studies on the Classification and Identification of Aerobic, Endospore-forming Bacteria” (I had to check the spelling twice!).
Today’s learners. Today’s disciples. Thank God. There’s hope for all of us in an ever-expanding world that’s filled with so much more of glory than is sometimes to be found within our religious institutions alone. Congratulations Rachel. Well done to any and all are who are open to growing, and to Glasgow Caledonian’s named aspiration: “For the Common Weal”.